Match reports – 01/10/16

Whitchurch ladies 1s 4 Buckley ladies 1s 4

Whitchurch ladies 1s played at home against Buckley 1s today and played their most exciting game so far. Whitchurch started strong getting into the D but failed to score.

Buckley were a strong team with a ring of very strong players who were also pushing hard into the Whitchurch D. They scored first which left Whitchurch fighting hard to equalize. A few short corners were awarded to Buckley, which allowed them to score again. Whitchurch ladies keep pushing up towards the Buckley goal. Emma Harper took the ball and dribbled passed the Buckley defence and scored with a strike from top of the dee.

Heads started to rise for Whitchurch until Buckley broke and scored another. Keeper Gwyn Thomas-Rees was kept busy this match making some amazing saving dives and the whistle went for half time with Whitchurch 3-1 down.

Time started again after a good team talk and this is when the excitement started! Passing from Lisa Sullivan, Helen Machin and Charlotte Lawder made Buckley run around and you could see them tiring. Also a change of players into key positions saw Whitchurch shake up Buckley defence allowing the ladies to tackle and drive forward. Whitchurch kept working so hard to get some goals. A short corner was awarded to Whitchurch allowing Laura Workman a touch on the ball tapping into the Buckley goal.

Confidence was rising for Whitchurch with 10 minutes to go. The ladies were really fighting for the ball. Phoebe Jones, Nicola Workman and Ellie Windsor passed the ball around Buckley, allowing Sue Read to score their third. Five minutes to go and Whitchurch were catching up.

The defence of Clare Fitzgerald, Catherine Reece- Gresty fought hard not to allow Buckley another goal and with help from Jane Williamson and Emily Hilton they kept them from scoring. Whitchurch supporters were on edge with only minutes left.
Whitchurch earned themselves a short corner and with some great passes around the Buckley defence the Workman sisters scored with a final tap from Laura. Final whistle went with a 4-4 final score.


Neston Ladies 5 1 Whitchurch ladies 2s 4

Whitchurch travelled away to a very wet game against Neston. Whitchurch went out the stronger of the two teams passing around the Neston players. Hayleigh Busby, Tracy Tolhurst and Emily Vernon working down the left hand side and passing the ball through the Neston defence picked out Grace Berry to score and leave Whitchurch 1-0. Despite Neston having many attempts on goal Emma Clarke, Jess Kimberley and Shola Bailey kept them at bay and kept the ball clear from the goal before the ball came to Vernon on the left who then ran in at pace with the ball and scored the second of the game.

Five minutes before the end of the first half the rain came down heavier but this did not stop the Whitchurch team as Olivia Edgerton picked out Grace in the dee who spotted Hayleigh Busby by the post and deflected it in to score.

During half time Whitchurch had a positive team talk too keep up the fight despite the cold and the rain and to keep the scoring coming even though they were 3-0 up.

In the second half the Neston team came out stronger and passed the ball around the Whitchurch defence and past the reach of keeper Shola. But Whitchurch were not stopping there as they knew that they had to keep fighting. Kate Goodwin and Becky Brookfield working hard down the right hand side along with Martha Teggin and Wendy Cooper passing the ball to Busby to score her second of the game.

Whitchurch will be entertaining Crewe at home starting at 12.30.


Birkenhead Mens 1s 8 Whitchurch Mens 2s 1

Whitchurch 2s travelled to Birkenhead 1s looking to build on their 7-0 win on the opening weekend of the season. Although a new team to the league for this season, the Birkenhead side were made up of experienced hockey players that had moved from other clubs on the Wirral, and in cold, wet conditions they soon took control of the game.

Birkenhead’s speed, movement and crisp passing caused Whitchurch no end of problems, and the Whitchurch midfield and defence struggled to repel the continued assault on their goal. Keeper Neil Jones made a number of fine saves early in the game, whilst Steve Kay and Matt Brookes were forced to make a number of last-ditch tackles.

Inevitably the breakthrough came midway through the first half. Another incisive attack down the Whitchurch left was quickly switched to the right where Birkenhead had a free man who fired into the D for a close-range deflection past the stranded Jones. Birkenhead then swiftly doubled their lead from a clever short-corner routine.

Whitchurch did fashion their own half-chances however. Although the midfield of Craig Hockenhull, Tom Forster and Marcus Conway were forced deep into their own half to help the defence, they were able to find some penetrating passes to the enable the front three to hit Birkenhead on the counter-attack. Richard Leigh and Rupert Yeoward were able to combine well to release the pace and skill of Felix Jeffreys, although Whitchurch were unable to create any clear-cut chances.

Despite being a little fortunate to only 2-0 down at half time, Whitchurch were keen to try and score and get a foothold in the game in the second-half. However, Birkenhead were also keen to be more clinical in front of goal. And early in the second half had raced into a 4-0 lead.

Whitchurch were undeterred and good interplay from the front three enabled Felix Jeffreys to dribble into the Birkenhead D and force Whitchurch’s only short corner of the game. A well-worked routine led to Hockenhull feeding Forster who drilled home a consolation goal for Whitchurch.

Birkenhead’s response was immediate and ruthless, as they added a further 4 goals during the second-half.

Despite the 8-1 score line, Whitchurch can be proud of their efforts. The players worked incredibly hard for each other and were undone by a new team playing 1 or 2 leagues below their true level. Birkenhead pressed Whitchurch high up the pitch and didn’t give the midfield and defence any time to find their passes. And when Whitchurch did break forward the Birkenhead defence was well marshaled by some very experienced players.

It was good to welcome back Aaron Llewellyn after a couple of years away from hockey. Aaron produced a hardworking and disciplined performance in defence despite the trying circumstances, and made a number of crucial interceptions and blocks.

The win leaves Whitchurch 2s in 3rd place in the league, although only Birkenhead have 2 wins from 2 games at this stage. Next week the 2s are at home to Denbigh 2s, who have lost the only game they’ve played so far this season.


Whitchurch Mens 1s 5 Oxton Mens 6s 3

Whitchurch Mens 1s played their first home game of the season against a young but strong Oxton team who combined experience with youth and speed. Oxton put the pressure on from the start with a number of strong passing moves and good movement around the Whitchurch dee. Several minutes of balanced play followed before Whitchurch made the breakthrough with a short corner shot which just clipped the backboard and passed under the height limits in doing so.

By these fine margins the match was defined; Oxton scored a goal, which trickled through the keeper’s pads and rolled agonisingly slowly over the line. A few minutes later, a similar thing happened at the other end, as Whitchurch scored from a short corner scramble which resulted in the ball again just making it over the line before it could be cleared. Several short corners were won by some good control in the Oxton dee, but shots went agonisingly wide or were well saved by the Oxton keeper.

Relief was had after some fine passing work through the midfield, between Tom Leonard and Joel Leese, got the ball up the field quickly and Ben Kimberley did excellent work on the right wing to get another goal, but Oxton immediately put the pressure on, beating Whitchurch’s tiring defence with strong work from the byline and losing their markers at the last minute.

Continued pressure from Whitchurch paid off, though, for the score to end 5-3 in our favour after some quick attacks with great movement on and off the ball, but it was a very strong effort from both sides in an evenly matched game. The 1s continue their season next week away against Runcorn’s 2s.